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Erich Wagner

Erich Wagner is a staff correspondent covering pay, benefits and other federal workforce issues. He joined Government Executive in the spring of 2017 after extensive experience writing about state and local issues in Maryland and Virginia, most recently as editor-in-chief of the Alexandria Times. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
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Appointee Watch: HR Leaders Confirmed, While Another Official Resigns

March 8, 2018 Leading the news in the world of presidential appointments this week is the Senate’s vote Wednesday to confirm Jeff Pon as director of the Office of Personnel Management. This marks the first time in nearly three years that the federal government’s HR agency has had a permanent director. Senators also...

As Clearance Backlog Soars Past 710,000, Senators Want to Know Why

March 8, 2018 Lawmakers on Wednesday grilled officials and stakeholders in the process for investigating job candidates for security clearances over a backlog that has more than tripled in four years. As of last month, more than 710,000 investigations remain unresolved. That’s an increase over 581,200 cases in April 2017, and a backlog...

Senate Panel Seeks Answers on Clearance Backlog

March 8, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Lawmakers on Wednesday grilled officials and stakeholders in the process for investigating job candidates for security clearances over a backlog that has more than tripled in four years. As of last month, more than 710,000 investigations remain unresolved. That’s an increase over 581,200 cases in April 2017, and a backlog...

OPM Gets a Permanent Director After Nearly 3 Years of Acting Leaders

March 8, 2018 The Senate confirmed by voice vote Wednesday night President Trump’s nomination of Jeff Pon to be director of the Office of Personnel Management, officially ending a months-long standoff over his nomination. OPM's last permanent director, Katherine Archuleta, resigned in July 2015 and since then, the agency has been led by...

Senate Panel Seeks Answers on Clearance Backlog

March 7, 2018 Lawmakers on Wednesday grilled officials and stakeholders in the process for investigating job candidates for security clearances over a backlog that has more than tripled in four years. As of last month, more than 710,000 investigations remain unresolved. That’s an increase over 581,200 cases in April 2017, and a backlog...

Retirement Backlog Continues to Grow, Compensation Fund in Budget Won’t Be for Raises, and More

March 7, 2018 The annual flood of federal employee retirement claims spilled into February this year, as the Office of Personnel Management’s retirement backlog topped the 24,000 mark. There were 13,290 new retirement claims filed last month, which marks a slight decrease from the 14,590 requests made in January, when the number of...

House Approves Bill to Prevent Political Appointees From 'Burrowing In'

March 6, 2018 The House advanced legislation by voice vote Tuesday that would curb use of a process where political appointees convert to career positions to remain in government. The Political Appointee Burrowing Prevention Act (H.R. 1132), introduced by Reps. Ken Buck, R-Colo., and Ted Lieu, D-Calif., would institute a two-year “cooling off”...

USDA to Block Social Media Following IG Report Showing an Uptick in Porn Watching

March 5, 2018 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Officials at the Agriculture Department announced last month that the agency’s computer network is blocking more than 400 websites, including social media companies Facebook and WhatsApp, in an attempt to stop employees and contractors from viewing pornography on agency time. According to a Feb. 23 memo obtained by Federal News...

USDA to Block Social Media Following IG Report Showing an Uptick in Porn Watching

March 5, 2018 Officials at the Agriculture Department announced last month that the agency’s computer network is blocking more than 400 websites, including social media companies Facebook and WhatsApp, in an attempt to stop employees and contractors from viewing pornography on agency time. According to a Feb. 23 memo obtained by Federal News...

The Things Agency Leaders Have Given Up to Get on the Right Side of Ethics Rules

March 2, 2018 Last week, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai made headlines when the National Rifle Association named him the recipient of the Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award at the Conservative Political Action Conference and announced they would bestow on him a handmade long gun. But on Thursday, Pai wrote to...